The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Tuesday, June 1

bang for the buck

Military suppliers hard-pressed to meet demands
Dan Murphy, chief executive at bullet supplier Alliant Techsystems Inc., said the company's Army ammunition plant in Missouri has gone through its fastest increase in production since the Vietnam War. It has hired 1,000 workers in the past three years, and some production lines are running around the clock.
In the last 3 years. Interesting. When exactly did orders start to increase? Say, around the time of Cheney's energy task force meetings?

Contractors mentioned in the article are:
Alliant Techsystems Inc.
Saft America Inc.
Israel Military Industries Ltd.
Winchester unit of Olin Corp.

The aricle also quotes Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, "'The Army has been under-investing in equipment for a generation.'' Well, that's a mighty intriguing observation from a man who has supported and promoted the $10 billion missile defense shield aka Star Wars.

Maybe if the Lexington Institute had been promoting maintaining basic supplies, the Army wouldn't be in this position. But then, that would hardly have profitted the big defense contractors, now would it?

And speaking of Cheney, Time magazine has a short article on an internal email.

The Paper Trail
TIME has obtained an internal Pentagon e-mail sent by an Army Corps of Engineers official—whose name was blacked out by the Pentagon—that raises questions about Cheney's arm's-length policy toward his old employer. Dated March 5, 2003, the e-mail says "action" on a multibillion-dollar Halliburton contract was "coordinated" with Cheney's office. The e-mail says Douglas Feith, a high-ranking Pentagon hawk, got the "authority to execute RIO," or Restore Iraqi Oil, from his boss, who is Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. RIO is one of several large contracts the U.S. awarded to Halliburton last year.

The e-mail says Feith approved arrangements for the contract "contingent on informing WH [White House] tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been coordinated w VP's [Vice President's] office." Three days later, the Army Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton the contract, without seeking other bids. TIME located the e-mail among documents provided by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group.
Fingers crossed that Cheney is forced to release notes on his energy task force meetings. If we were betting men, Halliburton was at the table.


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